July 12, 2015 in Tips & Lessons

Eric Clapton – Guitar Lesson From 1968

Eric Clapton Vibrato Technique

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Eric Clapton needs no introduction, as his legendary stature as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of the instrument has stood the test of time. From his earliest riffing and soloing heard with The Yardbirds in the early-mid 1960s, to his most recent performances and recordings – Clapton is a giant of music and has influenced thousands (if not, millions) of guitarists and musicians.

One of his signature trademarks includes his smooth and effortless vibrato technique, which has been studied and borrowed by countless guitarists. There is a subtle art to the way that Clapton sustains and uses vibrato with … Continue Reading

August 1, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze

hendrixstratJimi Hendrix was one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. He has inspired many guitarists and musical performers including Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Frusciante, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, and more. He has received numerous music awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

About the song

Hendrix found success after moving to England to team up with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Purple Haze was the second single off of the band’s 1967 album Are You Experienced. It was written ten days after the release of their debut single Hey Joe.

Purple Haze was known as the one of the psychedelic drug songs of the … Continue Reading

July 23, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Scar Tissue

californicationCalifornication was a turning-point album for Red Hot Chili Peppers. It marked the return of guitarist John Frusciante and a change in the band’s sound and style. The album contained a variety of themes, such as lust, death, suicide, drugs, travel, globalization, and California. One of the most successful songs on Californication was Scar Tissue.

About the Song

Scar Tissue was written by frontman Anthony Kiedis during guitarist John Frusciante’s return to the band. Frusciante had left the Chili Peppers in 1992 when he became uncomfortable with the bands epic success. In 1998, the Chili Peppers were coming off a huge disappointment from their album One Last Minute, which failed to live up to its predecessor, … Continue Reading

June 17, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Tom Petty – Mary Jane’s Last Dance

pettyRecorded on July 22, 1993 while Tom Petty was recording his Wildflowers album, Mary Jane’s Last Dance spiked a bit of controversy as many thought that the song was about drugs, mostly because of the chorus saying “Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain.” “Mary Jane” is a common nickname for marijuana, which is known to altering the state of mind of those who use it, numbing both physical and mental pain.

On the other hand, Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell says, “In the verse there is still the thing about an Indiana girl on an Indiana night. Just when it gets to the chorus he had the presence of mind … Continue Reading

June 5, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter

Mike McCreadyBy combining a Hendrix-style blues riff, a powerful solo, and passionate lyrics, Yellow Ledbetter is the kind of song that inspires people to pick up a guitar.

Despite never appearing on a studio album, the song became a favorite of Pearl Jam fans as the band has used it for years to close out concerts. While this is clearly not a song for beginners, many intermediate players don’t realize that this classic is well within their abilities.

About The Song

Yellow Ledbetter was actually one of the first songs Pearl Jam ever recorded as a group. Guitarist Mike McCready said that they had just begun recording their first album and the song came about from a jam session. Singer … Continue Reading

June 3, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Pink Floyd – Money

220px-Dark_Side_of_the_MoonPink Floyd’s Money is the only song on the 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon that made it to the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Money has often been misinterpreted as a tribute to money and greed but it’s really about the bad things these evils can bring. Ironically, it paid Pink Floyd lots of cash as it sold over 34 million copies.

About The Song

Pink Floyd’s founding member, bassist and co-lead vocalist Roger Waters is credited for writing the song. Waters provided the basic music and lyrics for Money. Waters also put together the cash register tape loop that played throughout the song. The track also contains … Continue Reading

May 21, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing

Jimi HendrixOne of the style trademarks that Jimi Hendrix was known for was the ability to play what sounded like multiple guitar parts simultaneously. He was able to do this by bringing his thumb around the back of the neck to play bass notes. This freed his index finger from barring the entire fretboard and allowed his ring and pinky fingers a great deal of freedom. This flexibility enabled Hendrix to embellish different notes in the chord he was playing, which often made it sound like a second guitar was present.

While the novice guitarist generally doesn’t appreciate the technique that goes into making this classic Hendrix sound, as a guitar player learns and grows, so does his appreciation for … Continue Reading

May 11, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Green Day – When I Come Around

greendayGreen Day’s Dookie album is one of the albums I credit with having a huge impact on my early teenage years. I was in my early teens when it was released, but due to the fact that I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV and the internet didn’t exist yet, it took a year or so for me to find out about it.

This was one of the first albums that really felt like it spoke directly to me. I could relate to these dudes. So naturally, as soon as I picked up a Fender like Billy Joe’s I was learning these songs. Like most kids my age, I was a big fan of Longview, Basket Case, and Welcome To Paradise. But the … Continue Reading

May 2, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge

imagesOne of the most iconic songs of the early 90s was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge.” The words were written by Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Keidis, while the music was crafted by former guitar player John Frusciante. Like any modern rock star, Frusciante has an extensive collection of vintage guitars, however he is widely quotes as saying that his ’62 Stratocaster is by far his favorite. He plays his Fender Jaguar in the music video. This was the only guitar he owned when he joined the band.

One of the best things about learning this song for your Fender is that you can learn easier versions of most of the parts and then build up to the version Frusciante … Continue Reading